A new study finds no link between technology use and mental health
The study questioned 430,000 kids from 10 to 15 years old.
Many people believe that there is a strong link between technology use and mental health issues like depression in young people. However, a new study from Oxford University finds that there is no real proof that these things are connected.
The study was published earlier this week and was conducted by questioning 430,000 children from 10 to 15 years old over the course of 30 years from both the UK and US.
Participants were asked a series of questions relating to how much time they spend using technology devices, watching television, or browsing social media. They were also asked to grade their own mental health using a series of questions.
Using the data found from these questions, researchers compared the use of technology and mental health issues. They found that the correlation between the two factors had actually slightly reduced over the 30 years, though there was a slight increase in the relation between social media use and emotional issues. In both instances, the changes were very minor.
Co-author of the study, Professor Andrew Przybylski, acknowledged that these findings are certainly not concrete. He says on the university’s website that, while it is “certainly way too soon to be making policy or regulation,” he hopes the technology industry can become more transparent so that more reliable studies can be conducted.
This study contradicts the widely held belief that technology use and mental health go hand-in-hand. There are several studies that have had results contradicting this one.
One thing to note is that many studies of this nature are, in fact, flawed. Even this study had young people self-reporting on their own happiness, which can result in skewed data. This will surely continue to be an ongoing conversation.
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